Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

How many days in the cities of Bordeaux and la Rochelle?

How many days in the cities of Bordeaux and la Rochelle?

Aug 30th, 2016, 06:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
How many days in the cities of Bordeaux and la Rochelle?

We will be visiting the area in the first half of October and would like to visit both cities. From what I have read, having a car would be a hassle in either place, so I was thinking of taking the train between the cities. Depending on logistics, we'd then pick up a car at the tail end of one of the city visits.

For just the city by itself and not visits to neighboring areas, about how many days should I plan for a stay each place? We enjoy just walking around and soaking in the ambiance and plan to visit some of the typical tourist sites. We would probably also be interested in one of the boat trips for a couple hours or maybe cycling around the city itself a bit. Visits to outlying areas would be done separately after we leave the city.

Thoughts? Thanks.
julies is offline  
Aug 30th, 2016, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,842
Both are wonderful places, very different. A car would be a hassle in Bordeaux for sure, not so much in La Rochelle. I haven't seen many people cycling around either place, and I wouldn't be comfortable, especially in Bordeaux, on a bicycle.

I would plan on about 3-4 days for Bordeaux, plus a day or two in Arcachon, Cap Ferret, and Pylat.

For La Rochelle, I think 2-3 days would be sufficient, but you must go out to Ile de Ré while there and spend at least a day there. That would be the place to go bicycling.
StCirq is online now  
Aug 30th, 2016, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,505
I would plan a whole day for Bordeaux city. Unless you like shopping in which case take as many days as you want. I've taken a bike to Bordeaux and agree the city centre lacks the right bike vibe, but people do use them, one rode over Mrs B two times ago.

The outskirts of Bordeaux is another matter with some great bike paths that morph into long distance bike routes. Just looking locally I'd add 4 or 5 days of cycling outside of the city

La Rochelle probably 2 days max. I'd also visit Ile De Re at least a day if not two and Rochefort (which needs most of a day).

Then there is visiting vinyards, Bergerac etc etc
bilboburgler is online now  
Aug 30th, 2016, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,424
It's hard to say without knowing your interests, but for Bordeaux itself, I think 2 days would probably do most people who don't have any specific agenda.
Christina is offline  
Aug 30th, 2016, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,587
I think that a full day will cover most of La Rochelle, but it can also be used as a base to visit the Île de Ré and visit some of the Charente back country.

Michael is online now  
Aug 30th, 2016, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,585
Like St Cirq, I'd stay at least 3 days in each city.
Actually I did in La Rochelle but stayed less (2 days ?) in Bordeaux, and it was not sufficient there.
And the area is great.
Whathello is offline  
Aug 31st, 2016, 07:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
Well, we definitely are not shoppers so I won't need to add in any time in Bordeaux for that!

One of our possible plans has us arriving in Bordeaux from the US at 11:00 am. We'd have the rest of that day (we are the type of travelers who keep going on day one rather than napping) and all of the next day to see the city. Then, we'd leave the following morning on a cycling trip to the outlying areas. I am just wondering whether this would be sufficient time for the city. At the end of the cycling trip (assuming we would go with this plan) we'd have the choice of spending a night or two again in Bordeaux or moving directly on to la Rochelle. I'd much prefer the idea of not breaking the time in Bordeaux up into two segments, which might have to be the case if we follow this particular cycling trip plan. That is why I asked about how long for the city itself.

Now that it sounds as though having a car in la Rochelle might not be as much of a pain as having one in Bordeaux, do you think it might be an okay plan to pick up a rental car when leaving Bordeaux and then have it so we could stop in to visit other areas on our way to la Rochelle? We'd just have to find a place in a Rochelle that has parking.

Thanks for all the replies.
julies is offline  
Aug 31st, 2016, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,505
I'd use a car between Bord. and LR. You'll find that many hotels in LR have an odd car park place and you can certainy leave it down by the port. So yes I could use it in LR just you may end up with sat doing nothing for a day.

I rode a bike from LR to Bordeaux 2 years ago. If any help you can follow my name back.
bilboburgler is online now  
Aug 31st, 2016, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,842
You won't have enough time to enjoy Bordeaux at the beginning of your trip.
StCirq is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:25 AM.